The citadel of Carcassonne looks like a medieval film set. The spectacular walled town is one of France’s most famous national monuments and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Originally a Roman settlement, then a medieval walled town, Carcassonne was built between the 12th and 14th centuries and restored in the 19th century by Viollet le Duc. The River Aude and the Canal du Midi separate the citadel from the lower town.
Things to see in Carcassonne :
In the medieval citadel: the Narbonne Gate, which defended the entrance to the fortified town; the Trésau tower; the ‘lists’ - large open spaces where tournaments and jousts were once held; the 12th century Count’s Castle; the Aude Gate; the 11th and 14th century basilica of Saint Nazaire and Saint Celse; the La Vade Tower; the old town where local craftsmen still practice traditional crafts.
In the lower town: the old bridge - ‘Pont Vieux’ - over the river Aude; Murat’s town house, decorated with tapestries; the Museum of Fine Arts and Municipal Library; the 18th century Neptune’s Fountain in the Place Carnot; the Gothic St Michael’s cathedral, Saint Vincent’s church; the 13th century Carmelite chapel. Also see the ‘Maison des Mémoires’ - one of the fabulous old houses known as ‘hôtels’ - which was once the home of the poet, Joë Bousquet, and now houses a centre of Cathar studies and the old city archives.
Events in Carcassonne : eagle flying displays on Pech Mary Hill from June to September - festivals of dance, theatre and music in July - grand firework display on July 14th - Medieval Festival with jousting tournaments and concerts in August In the area - Cavayère Lake, which offers swimming, watersports and horse riding. - The Canal du Midi
A suggestion for your Carcassonne holiday
The Cathar Pathway crosses the department of Aude from one side to the other and means that you can take a walking (or mountain-bike) trip that will combine the beauty of the countryside, visits to several Cathar fortresses and healthy relaxation. Those who have a passion for castles will enjoy touring the Corbières area’s fortresses, such as: Quéribus, Peyrepertuse and Puilaurens.
Knights in the Cité of Carcassonne
At the foot of the ramparts of the famous Cité de Carcassonne, our medieval past comes to life every summer with costumed historical spectacles. Every day, about thirty participants (knights and squires, etc.) bring back to life the chivalrous tournaments of yesteryear. The public can watch the jousting and also combat on foots with swords, axes and lances
Eating out in Carcassonne
Dining is a real treat in Carcassonne, where restaurants serve local food that combines the cooking styles of the Mediterranean (fish and shellfish), the Massif Central (cured meats, venison, trout) and Gascogne (foie gras). On the menu in the city’s restaurants you’ll find goose or duck liver pâtés, cassoulet (the famous pork and bean stew, escargots cooked with onions, ham and tomatoes and persillade, and delicious fish soup (bourride de Bages and bouillabaisses).
Tél : + 33 (0)4 68 10 24 30